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Artemis - flush deck frigate?

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Artemis - flush deck frigate?

Post by RickSp on Sun 15 Mar 2009, 19:33

I am finally getting around to reading the Kydd series. In the second book I was confused by a description of the frigate Artemis.

"Turning to them, the Captain roared, 'Lay aft, you men." He stood abaft the wheel: with no poop in a 'frigate the spar deck swept unbroken from the beakhead forward in a sweet curve right aft to the taffrail."

I don't think anyone except the Americas were building flush spar-deck frigates in the 1790s. Unless I am mistaken all the British 12 pound frigates were open in the waist. Even the newer and larger 18 pound Lively class frigates had open waist decks.

Is this just a mistake or am I missing something?

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Re: Artemis - flush deck frigate?

Post by Astrodene on Sun 15 Mar 2009, 19:53

The descriptions I've read agree with your thoughts. I think with the spare spars and boats stored on the booms the open waist was effectively covered so you could pssibly get the appearance of one deck formed by the port and starboard gangways. Julians site has a virtual representation of the deck here (although created by a reader not the author) which does show an open area covered by boats.

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Re: Artemis - flush deck frigate?

Post by RickSp on Mon 16 Mar 2009, 01:55

The graphic from his website does show effectively a flush spar deck with a large hatch over which the boats are stored. I think this is a better representation of the frigates of the period. From Gardiner's Frigates of the Napoleonic Wars

Stockwin also seems to be using American terminolgy. My sources suggest the British called the deck below the main deck the gun deck, even though it carried no guns. Once the Americans developed a flush spar deck, they began calling the main deck the gun deck and the deck below the berth or mess deck. Stockwin calls it the mess deck on the Artemis.

These quibbles haven't stopped me from enjoying the book, but are a bit distracting.

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